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2019 County Annual Meeting


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS

The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.  A reception from 5:00 to 6:00 PM will allow for attendees to take a look at the Smithsonian exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” that will be on display in the museum.  The meeting and dinner will start at 6:00 PM.  It will be a shorter meeting, focusing on election of board members and both policies and delegates to send to the statewide annual meeting in December.  Some of the recognitions and introductions took place earlier at the centennial picnic celebration in Ida, such as the scholarship winners, 4-H Capitol Experience participants, and the Promotion & Education Committee volunteer of the year.

This meeting is of great importance, since this is a “grass roots” organization; this is where policies developed at the local level come to the regular farmer members for votes.  If approved, these can go on to be incorporated into the policies and actions of our state and national organizations.  Monroe County is well known for developing meaningful policy recommendations that are often adopted into the Michigan policy book and even some of the language finds its way into the national, American Farm Bureau policy book.  The policy development committee consists of seasoned members who have also been involved in state and national farm organizations such as the commodity groups and includes some active young farmers.  The committee has been hard at work again this year drafting proposed policies.  You will be able to read the proposed policies by CLICKING HERE .

Board seats up for election include the Dundee-Summerfield District seat currently held by Matt Reau of Petersburg and the At-Large seat currently held by Mary Webb of Newport.  Any eligible member who would like to run for one of these positions should contact the county office for referral to the nominating committee or plan to be nominated from the floor at the meeting.

Farmers and landowners who are not yet members may attend and should want to join their largest, most effective organization as a way to meet likeminded people, help their industry and learn how to take collective action to make things better for everyone.  Call the Monroe County Farm Bureau Office, 734.269.3275 to register.  This is a free event for our regular farming members; dinner for non-members is $12 each.  Members should respond to their invitations no later than September 10th to confirm their registrations.

The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.

County News

2019 County Annual Meeting


CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE PROPOSED RESOLUTIONS

The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.  A reception from 5:00 to 6:00 PM will allow for attendees to take a look at the Smithsonian exhibit “Crossroads: Change in Rural America” that will be on display in the museum.  The meeting and dinner will start at 6:00 PM.  It will be a shorter meeting, focusing on election of board members and both policies and delegates to send to the statewide annual meeting in December.  Some of the recognitions and introductions took place earlier at the centennial picnic celebration in Ida, such as the scholarship winners, 4-H Capitol Experience participants, and the Promotion & Education Committee volunteer of the year.

This meeting is of great importance, since this is a “grass roots” organization; this is where policies developed at the local level come to the regular farmer members for votes.  If approved, these can go on to be incorporated into the policies and actions of our state and national organizations.  Monroe County is well known for developing meaningful policy recommendations that are often adopted into the Michigan policy book and even some of the language finds its way into the national, American Farm Bureau policy book.  The policy development committee consists of seasoned members who have also been involved in state and national farm organizations such as the commodity groups and includes some active young farmers.  The committee has been hard at work again this year drafting proposed policies.  You will be able to read the proposed policies by CLICKING HERE .

Board seats up for election include the Dundee-Summerfield District seat currently held by Matt Reau of Petersburg and the At-Large seat currently held by Mary Webb of Newport.  Any eligible member who would like to run for one of these positions should contact the county office for referral to the nominating committee or plan to be nominated from the floor at the meeting.

Farmers and landowners who are not yet members may attend and should want to join their largest, most effective organization as a way to meet likeminded people, help their industry and learn how to take collective action to make things better for everyone.  Call the Monroe County Farm Bureau Office, 734.269.3275 to register.  This is a free event for our regular farming members; dinner for non-members is $12 each.  Members should respond to their invitations no later than September 10th to confirm their registrations.

The 2019 Monroe County Farm Bureau Annual Meeting will be held Thursday, September 19, at the Old Mill Banquet Hall in Dundee.

Ag Students Receive Farm Bureau Scholarships

By Monroe County Farm Bureau



 











Monroe County Farm Bureau has awarded two $750 scholarships to local students aspiring to careers in agriculture.  Interviews were held on May 11 and the committee’s selections were notified the following week.  Recipients of the awards can use the funds to attend college, trade school, or apprenticeship programs which support the agricultural industry.

“These students are the future of the agriculture industry of Monroe County, and we consider these scholarships to be an investment in the future of our community,” said Mark Mathe, president of the Monroe County Farm Bureau.  “Their success will impact the future success of farms and agri-businesses in our area.”

The 2019 winner of the Betty Bliss Scholarship is Madison Bank of Carleton.  It is named for long-time County Office Administrator Betty Bliss, and has been presented annually since 1988.  Madison is attending Michigan State University studying Crop and Soil Sciences with a minor in Environmental Studies and Sustainability.  The daughter of William and Heather Bank, she graduated from Airport High School and has been a member of the Swan Creek 4-H Club for ten years.  Upon graduation from MSU, she plans to become a crop consultant to help serve the farmers of Southeast Michigan.

The 2019 Young Farmer Memorial Scholarship was awarded to Tanner Burkett of Ida.  The oldest scholarship awarded by the bureau, it was renamed five years ago as a tribute to the Young Farmers of our group whose lives were cut short before reaching their full potential.  Tanner is a graduate of Ida High School, and currently attends Michigan State University majoring in Crop and Soil Sciences.  He is the son of Chad and Karen Burkett and has been involved in the Monroe County 4-H program since 2007.  Getting his interest in agriculture from his dad and uncles, he plans to help the industry by becoming an Agronomist.

Winners are eligible to compete in all years of their studies against new applicants, provided they continue their studies in an agriculture-related field.  Since 1988, Monroe County Farm Bureau has invested over $40,000 in the future agricultural leaders of our community!  We wish everyone who competed for these awards the best of luck as they continue their studies.  They are truly the future of agriculture in Monroe County!



Monroe County Farm Bureau has awarded two $750 scholarships to local students aspiring to careers in agriculture.

Members Attend Washington Legislative Seminar



U.S. Rep. Tim Walberg responds to questions from members on the status of USMCA.

The annual Washington Legislative Seminar is a fitting capstone to Farm Bureau’s wintertime meeting season—a summit of the organization’s grass-roots lobbying ethic perched at the tail end of many growers’ availability before the crush of spring planting. After returning home to their farms, attendees from across the state shared their thoughts about the program celebrating its 60th anniversary.

Representing Monroe County at this year’s seminar were Dee Dee and Jerry Heck. Even as longtime members with lengthy track records of Farm Bureau involvement, the Hecks still found fresh value in the experience.

“Even though I have been a longtime member, this trip gave me new enthusiasm for the value of the organization,” Jerry Heck said.

“The time spent with our two Senators was very educational. It was nice being able to ask them questions, and it gave me a different viewpoint of them.”

Gratiot County Young Farmer Marie Zwemmer hadn’t been to D.C. since high school. This time around she got a much better feel for the real workings of the nation’s capital.

“I was on the trade track, which allowed us to meet with both Senators and our Congressman,” said Zwemmer, who attended alongside her husband Frank. “We learned about their thoughts on trade issues and what needs to happen for effective trade to positively impact Michigan farmers.”

She credits her Farm Bureau involvement for making the opportunity more accessible.

“Without my membership, I probably would never have had breakfast with our Senators or sit in our Congressman’s office, sharing concerns about issues impacting agriculture and getting questions answered about what’s being done to solve problems,” Zwemmer said.

“As a Farm Bureau member, I feel my voice matters and I know it’s more likely to be heard. The value of that—being able to influence policy-makers to do what Michigan agriculture needs—I don’t feel like I would have that through any other organization.”

Zwemmer found some valuable lessons in her D.C. experience—lessons she’s eager to implement back home.

“Don’t be afraid to ask policy makers hard questions,” she said. “They represent us, and we have a right to have our questions answered and our voices heard. They don’t know what they don’t know, so it’s up to us to make sure important issues surface and they are getting solved at every level.”

Two of Zwemmer’s neighbors to the south, Johanna and Ronald Balzer of Clinton County, also made the trip to D.C..

“We were very impressed with the opportunity to meet the people making our laws and regulations,” said Johanna Balzer upon returning home. “It was good to see the common humanity that binds us together, putting a face with a name in this echelon of bureaucracy.

“It was a good experience hearing how even experts struggle with making policy decisions. We appreciated meeting others from our U.S. House district—along with Iowa Farm Bureau members—and discussing our common concerns.

“If you have the opportunity to attend the seminar, take it!

Otsego County Farm Bureau President Tim Kauska attended with his wife Pat—their second time lobbying in D.C.   “Our main objective was information gathering and sharing. We take all Farm Bureau events seriously and use the time wisely,” Kauska said.  “Our main concerns are immigration and labor—specifically the H-2A program. That there is still a tremendous amount of work still needed to improve the H-2A Program.”

The annual Washington Legislative Seminar is a fitting capstone to Farm Bureau’s wintertime meeting season—a summit of the organization’s grass-roots lobbying ethic perched at the tail end of many growers’ availability before the crush of spring plan

State News

Michigan Farm Bureau

The Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies is partnering with Talons Out Honor Flight to give Farm Bureau members who are veterans of World War II or the Korean War an opportunity to visit their respective war memorial in Washington D.C. and return to a welcome-home celebration May 9, 2020.  

The Family of Companies’ $25,000 pledge will allow for 24 veterans and 24 guardians to attend — two veteran-guardian pairs per district.

“This truly is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our members who’ve served their country overseas in some of the most horrible conflicts of the 20th century,” said MFB President Carl Bednarski. “The Honor Flight is about commemorating them and their service, and our priority is on honoring the most senior of our member-veterans.

“As younger men and women, they were fortunate to survive wars halfway across the globe — then returned home to work the land and help build the greatest agricultural industry the world has ever known.”

All participating veterans must be accompanied by an able-bodied guardian, responsible for physically assisting veterans prior to and during the flights to and from D.C., and during visits to memorials and Arlington National Cemetery — an active, 18-hour day. (See preliminary agenda here.)

Guardians may not be spouses or significant others and must be between 18 to 70 years of age. To make the most of this rare opportunity, county Farm Bureaus are encouraged to find guardians who are also veterans themselves.

If a district has more than two nominees, they will be selected based on the order applications were received. County Farm Bureaus can sponsor additional veterans and guardians at a cost of $500 per person (totaling $1,000 per vet-guardian pair).

Separate application forms for veterans and guardians are under development and will soon be made available to county Farm Bureau offices.

Farm Bureau members who served in WWII or Korea are encouraged to apply directly to their county Farm Bureau. The county Farm Bureau must submit completed applications to [email protected] by 4:30 p.m. Jan. 31.

For more information, contact Nicole Guilford (517-679-5665) or Jeremy C. Nagel (517-323-6585).

The Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies is partnering with Talons Out Honor Flight to give Farm Bureau members who are veterans of World War II or the Korean War an opportunity to visit their respective war memorial in Washington D.C. and return
Michigan Farm Bureau

Michigan Farm Bureau’s marquee grassroots lobbying event, Lansing Legislative Seminar, is slated for Feb. 25, 2020 and promises an exciting day for members passionate about advocating for agriculture and Farm Bureau policy and learning about state legislative and regulatory issues.

Members interested in participating are encouraged to contact their county Farm Bureau before the Feb. 7 registration deadline.

While the main program begins at 11:30 a.m. at the Lansing Center, members looking to arrive early to the capital city have options for starting their day.

State Capitol Building Tours 

If you’ve never been inside Michigan’s historic capitol building — or it’s just been a while — a visit won’t disappoint! Lansing Legislative Seminar attendees can take a free guided tour of the landmark.

Tours depart the Lansing Center at 8:45 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.; pre-registration is not required. It’s a quarter-mile walk to the capitol, so dress for the weather.

AgriPac Fundraiser 

MFB’s political action committee, AgriPac, welcomes members to show their support for the organization’s efforts to elect farm-friendly candidates by attending a fundraiser at 10:15 a.m. Special guest and political speaker Patrick Haggerty promises to entertain attendees while imparting his insight into the 2020 election and his expertise on grassroots advocacy. A $50 minimum contribution is required; personal checks should be made payable to AgriPac and business checks should be made payable to FarmPac. Credit card payments will be accepted on-site. Pre-registration is encouraged and available here. 

Luncheon Program 

Lansing Legislative’s hallmark lunch program will begin promptly at 11:30 a.m. in the Lansing Center ballrooms, starting with opening remarks from MFB President Carl Bednarski.

The organization has invited the state’s four most influential legislative leaders for a panel discussion: House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake), House Minority Leader Christine Greig (D-Farmington Hills) and Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint).

One ambitious county Farm Bureau will also be recognized with MFB’s annual Excellence in Grassroots Lobbying Award. The recipient will receive a $500 grant and recognition plaque for outstanding efforts to inform and influence elected officials.

Issue Sessions and Networking Break 

That afternoon, members will choose breakout sessions to attend before and after a networking break (featuring MSU Dairy Store ice cream!)

Topics will include legislative or regulatory issues impacting farms and agribusinesses, including environmental policy and water use, state budget items pertinent to the farm sector, a 2020 election preview, grassroots advocacy and more.

Legislative Reception 

Starting around 4:30 p.m. state representatives, senators and dozens of other government and regulatory leaders will begin arriving for the legislative reception, where members will visit with elected officials and discuss current agricultural issues and Farm Bureau policy priorities.

Michigan Farm Bureau’s marquee grassroots lobbying event, Lansing Legislative Seminar, is slated for Feb. 25, 2020 and promises an exciting day for members passionate about advocating for agriculture and Farm Bureau policy and learning about state le
Michigan Farm Bureau

Do you know where the latest version of your membership card is?

Most of our members say they don’t carry the card or have an expired one in their wallet. As you can imagine, the membership packet and ID card are expensive items to produce. Each year, Michigan Farm Bureau mails more than 200,000 packets to members when they join or renew their membership.

In an effort to minimize some of those costs and provide timely member information, Michigan Farm Bureau will begin emailing the membership ID card to members with valid email addresses in 2020. The email will contain the same information and resources that are sent in the mailed packets but can be more easily accessed just by pulling up the email.

The email campaign will officially launch in early 2020.

So, next time you renew your membership, be sure to look to your email inbox. Your membership card will be right there waiting for you!

For more information, email our membership services department or call 517-323-6552.


 

Coming Events

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January2020
Wednesday
29
2020 Council of Presidents Conference
111 W Main St
Midland,
Open to all county Farm Bureau presidents
February2020
Wednesday
5
2020 Voice of Agriculture Conference
800 Harker Street
Port Huron, MI
Learn new tools for connecting with consumers via social media, direct outreach, school-based events or news media at the Voice of Agriculture Conference. Hear from keynote speakers who understand the challenges of working in agriculture. Meet Farm Bureau members from across the state to share ideas for county programming. Tour agricultural businesses and farms in Michigan’s Thumb region
February2020
Friday
21
2020 Young Farmer Leaders Conference
100 Grand Traverse Village Blvd
Acme,
The Michigan Farm Bureau Young Farmer Leaders Conference is for young members between the ages of 18 and 35. This two-and-a-half-day conference unites 350 young agriculture leaders and industry experts, centers on these members’ professional and personal growth and addresses issues relevant to this generation, including leadership training, management skills and business/family relationships.
February2020
Tuesday
25
2020 Lansing Legislative Seminar
333 E. Michigan Ave.
Lansing, MI
Lansing Legislative Seminar provides an opportunity to learn from expert speakers on policy issues impacting agriculture, help legislative and regulatory leaders understand Farm Bureau policy, and share ideas and talk about local issues with fellow members.